Every spring, both school-age children and those in higher education take an average of 10 days to unwind. Some go on vacation, catch up on work, or prepare for finals. Others just spend time resting with family and friends. Either way, the end result is the same: students return to classes rested and ready to pick the baton back up and finish the year off strong. So why, during a more taxing semester, do we not have a similar break in the fall?
In North America, the concept of Spring Break started in the 30s, although it had existed in Europe for much longer. It is notorious for being a time of revelry and overindulgent partying, with college-age students flocking to beaches in particular. Regardless, it is a time to unwind.
In the United States, it often falls right before Easter, implying it is also a time to spend with family in reflection. No matter how spring break is spent, it is certainly well-deserved. On most college campuses, midterms take place right before the break. Combine midterms with the stress of keeping up with school, multiple jobs and the general hullabaloo that comes with living, and you’ve got the perfect recipe to put students on the edge of insanity.
During the fall semester, there is no such break. Sure, there’s Thanksgiving Break near the end of November, and the coveted Christmas Break at the end of the semester, but that leaves a few grueling months of toil.
Colder weather and shorter days are known to bring peoples’ moods down in general, even causing seasonal depression in some. Some students are already suffering from homesickness, especially those that are living away from home for the first time in their lives.
Older students are taking harder classes, as well as taking on more responsibility in their clubs, families, and extracurriculars. The gravity of college starts to hit, and they dedicate themselves more to getting good grades.
It’s not a stretch to say the fall semester is harder on students than the spring semester, and the fact there is no significant break during is asking for multiple mental breakdowns.
Much of the student population agrees. Results from a recent Cooglife poll showed 95 percent of students who voted are in favor of a fall break. The cause behind the desire is pretty simple, people just want rest and community.
“While not every class has a midterm and not every class has a final, some of them have both,” said a student who wanted to go by Santi. “So giving them (students) a long break would be good…for the students to gather themselves, do other things, see family, see friends.”
One might think our Thanksgiving break is like a fall break, but it’s shorter than the one seen in spring. It is also centered around a holiday, which leaves little time for real rest around all the family obligations. A proper fall break would bring much relief to overworked students.